Pitchvision Academy

Take a few minutes from your New Year celebrations to check out this week’s article. It’s a review of the year plus brand new advice all rolled into one.

Plus if you got an iPad, Kindle or other eBook reader we glance over the best cricket coaching eBooks to make use of your new toy.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

2 Simple Ways to Improve your Slip Catching

There are two types of fielders; people who are allowed to field in the slips and those who aren’t.

This is more down to the fielder’s reactions that their ability to catch.

The edge that flies straight into the body is regulation for the slip fielder, but many club and Academy cricketers struggle to react to catches either side of their body simply because of the variation in the pitch.

The more variation in the pitch the greater variation in the carrying edge.

But there are a couple of things you can do to improve your chances of reaching and holding these difficult chances.

Your base position will have a great say in how well you move yourself to take the chance.

Footwork is key, not only with moving yourself to cover ground but simply taking a catch either side of you whilst stationary.

Position your feet to angle inwards slightly, with your weight not only on the balls of your feet but also on the inside.  The angle of your feet will naturally do this for you, but it is important to check.

By doing this you will find it is easier to push off to either side.  Because your feet are pointing inwards, it basically means your legs are pointing the right way to push off with most efficiency.  

Your thigh muscles are some of the strongest in your body, so it is crucial to engage these in order to get your body to move.

Secondly, it is a time old suggestion, but staying low does help improve holding on to the tricky low catches.  After all it is quicker to use your muscles to lift yourself than it is to fall.  But more importantly it is easier to keep sight of a ball that is above your eye-line than it is to follow a ball dipping below.

Try to remember these techniques if you get chance to impress; although I can’t guarantee it will be an instant ticket to be recalled to the slips after you’ve spent all last season at square leg. 

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Avoid Being Left Behind When Walking In

It’s junior fielding lesson number two: walking in with the bowler.

Unfortunately, you often see a least one fielder in every side who doesn’t do it; and it makes a massive difference.

But you can go one better than walking in; you can trot in.

Walking in keeps momentum going forward.  Move continually towards the ball prevents a quick single or allows you to cut the firmly struck ball off before it is past you.

The positioning of the fielder is always a balance between being close enough to prevent a quick single and far enough to allow the furthest distance to increase reaction time.

But with an increase in speed during the walking in, you are a greater distance from the bat. This creates further reaction distances whilst knowing that you are holding a greater speed to attack.

By trotting in you can afford to be a yard further away from the normal position, but still be able to attack the ball just as quickly due to more momentum.

This deeper position will also play on the batsman’s mind. 

Seeing the fielder setting themselves slightly deeper than normal, it may start to create whispers in his head that a quick single is on the cards; he commits to a fatal quick single.  And with the extra speed you carry into the ball you increase the chances you have of a run out.

You can see some of the best fielders in the world using this technique every ball they witness.

Jonty Rhodes did it and Paul Collingwood still does; do you need any more convincing? 

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10 Best Cricket Coaching Books for eReaders

More people than ever woke up on Christmas morning to a Kindle eBook reader. Who knows how many millions got their hands on an iPad or other tablet with a Kindle app ready to go.

Great gifts, but you need something to put on them.

And despite there being over 900,000 books in the Amazon store, there is a frightening lack of cricket coaching advice for a device that you can slip into your bag.

Fortunately Kindle reads all eBooks and not just the ones from Amazon.

So here are the 10 most high-quality coaching books that you can download from PitchVision Academy and get to reading to improve your game in 2014:

  1. Michael Bevan - Finisher: Chasing Runs, Shot Selection and Consistency
  2. Nathan Bracken - Swing Bowling Masterclass
  3. Batting Lion: The Desmond Haynes Masterclass
  4. Gary Palmer - Batting Mechanics: How to Bat with the Techniques and Tactics of World Class Players
  5. Menno Gazendam - Spin Bowling Project
  6. Adrian Shaw - Wicketkeeping Drills, Tips and Training
  7. David Hinchliffe - Countdown to Summer: The Guide to Perfect Preseason Training
  8. David Hinchliffe - How to Use Mental Training to Boost Your Game
  9. Ian Pont - Attacking Batting: 8 Innovative Shots That Escalate Your Run Rate
  10. Nic Northcote - Wicket-Keeping: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Art

And the bonus if there is a lady in your life who wants to learn more about the world's greatest game is Point to Fine Leg - The Modern Woman's Complete Guide to Cricket by our very own convert Stacey Harris.

To get the books on your Kindle, just download them onto your PC and transfer them across.  It’s very easy (and if you get stuck, drop me a line). Any pdf file works on Kindle and iPad.

Most of the eBooks also have other content you can use at any PC or Mac too. So it’s double the fun and ten times the improvement. 

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Best of PitchVision Academy 2011

What’s more traditional than an end of year review of the season?

All good teams do it, so all good coaching websites should too. Here are the most popular and relevant posts of the last 12 months here at PitchVision Academy.

It’s been a stellar year, thanks for coming along.

The Case Study

Get your Preseason Training Questions in for the Cricket Show and Win a Prize

As you know, the Cricket Show is on a Christmas and New Year break, but that doesn’t mean the team are resting.

We are busy getting the new season ready for January 13th and we need your questions.

The first show back will have a couple of surprises – so subscribe for free to get it when it’s out – and will be themed around getting ahead at preseason training.


About PitchVision Academy

Welcome to this week's guide to playing and coaching better cricket.

I'm David Hinchliffe and I'm Director of the PitchVision Academy team. With this newsletter you are benefitting directly from over 25 Academy coaches. Our skills include international runs and wickets, first-class coaching, cutting-edge research and real-life playing experience.


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Issue: 183
Date: 2011-12-30